It is that time again, the shops are full of twinkling lights and everyone is busy trying to ensure everything is ready. There are cards to write, presents to wrap, food to buy and parties to attend. It is no wonder at such a busy time of year oral hygiene routines can start to slip. Not only that but the increase in sugary and acidic treats can put an additional strain on your oral health.
It is important to remember that it is not only the obvious sweet treats that can have a detrimental effect on your teeth
- Fruit juices
Most fruit juices as well as being high in sugar, are also quite acidic and can lead to erosion of the tooth enamel as well as tooth decay. Wherever possible try to limit fruit juices to meal times and use a straw to minimise how much juice comes into contact with your teeth.
- Dried Fruits
During the drying process the sugars present in the fruits are concentrated. This means that a holiday favourite such as dates can contain as much as 63g of sugar in every 100g, which can be more than is in some chocolate bars! Dried fruits will provide sugars for the bacteria in your mouth to feed on causing decay and cavities and due to the way, they stick to teeth, they can provide a source of food for many hours after you have eaten them.
- Mince pies, Christmas Cake and Pudding
These may satisfy millions of people over the Christmas period but one thing they do not satisfy are your teeth. They are laden with both dried fruits and processed sugar, which can stick to teeth and cause damage, especially if they are snacked on in between meals.
Nuts provide an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients, but it is important to ensure that you always use a nutcracker. Please remember your teeth are not tools. No-one wants to be at the dentist at the start of the new year with a cracked or broken tooth.
If you want to keep your teeth healthy and your dental team happy – here are some top tips to best look after your smile this Christmas:
- Instead of buying a traditional advent calendar with hidden chocolates this Christmas, why not consider one of the many alternative advent calendars available filled with candles, make-up or why not go traditional and pick a picture advent calendar.
- When drinking alcoholic or fizzy drinks consider using a straw so less of the liquid comes into contact with your teeth. This will reduce the level of acid erosion and potential decay.
- Stuck for a gift? Why not consider a new electric toothbrush? Toothbrushes can now be synced to your phone to ensure that you get the most from your oral hygiene routine.
- Enjoy the festive season, but be conscious of your alcohol consumption. Alcohol is a mouth cancer risk factor and current guidelines recommend that men and women should not consume more than 14 units a week.
- Be sure to maintain your oral hygiene routine, brushing for two minutes at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste and use interdental aids to clean between teeth daily. This will ensure you are mistletoe ready at all times!
All the team at The Smile Centre would like to wish our patients a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Should you have any dental emergencies over the festive period do not hesitate to contact the surgery on 01268 742333 for details of our out of hours emergency cover.